Annie Ford Sets World Record for Descending the Most Vertical on a Bicycle

Mar 16, 2023
by Matt Beer  

There must be something in the water down in Queenstown, New Zealand because it’s quietly become the focal point of suffer-fests on mountain bikes. You may have heard of Ben Hildred, who smashed out 1 million feet of climbing and descending under his own power in just 200 days. Well, he just completed a “double-Everest,” but Annie Ford is the latest rider to tackle a mega-ride, one that earned her a world record for descending the most amount of vertical on a bicycle. Oh, and she completed her own Everest mission last summer too. What is it with the Kiwis?

Annie set out to conquer 100 laps via the chairlift at Coronet Peak, just around the corner from Queenstown, which added up to 42,030m (137,894 feet) total descent and 313km (194 miles) distance. She accomplished this feat on her 27.5” Santa Cruz Nomad enduro bike, averaging 9.5 minutes per lap. The craziest stat of all is that she set her fastest lap time twelve hours into the event! She also took down the women's World Record around this time, and soon chased the men's record.

The previous Guinness World Record holder for descending the most amount of vertical on a bicycle was set by Amir Kabbani and Patrick Schweika of Germany in Schladming, Austria, five years ago. Their record for the most amount of descending vert in 24 hours stood at 40,840.5 m, but Annie recorded 42,030 m in only 18 hours and 53 minutes - well within the 24 hour time limit.

Our hats go off to Annie for tackling such an insane feat!


  • 317 15
 39 meters short of a magical number
  • 3 7
flag TheLongMan (Mar 16, 2023 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
  • 28 5
  • 7 9
 Hahahaha u wild bro
  • 3 5
  • 22 6
 Duude! - You can read metric!
  • 26 53
flag IntoTheEverflow (Mar 16, 2023 at 17:08) (Below Threshold)
 This joke has been everywhere for years now. Still getting voted to top comment every time. People used to make the joke when they saw the funny number. Then also when the number was close to the funny number. And now when there is just any number.
  • 7 10
 And what is magical number ?
  • 14 7
 @IntoTheEverflow: cool sense of humor "Fully Rigid Salsa El Mariachi" guy
  • 2 2
 Magic combo
  • 13 7
 @gunnyhoney: There is only so much repetition I can take.
I understand that makes me not cool, but like my bike already revealed, I don't care too much about that.
  • 7 4
 @greg390: I didn't get it either. A marathon is 42195m so maybe it is magical to be 126m short of a vertical marathon? So now she's 39m short of being 126m short of that vertical marathon. That said, I know little about magic. I may be able to lift a rabbit out of a hat but only if you put one in there first.
  • 3 2
  • 2 2
 @vinay: sarcasm or?
  • 4 2
  • 5 1
 @blazekelly: Ehm, no. Just like @greg390 I didn't get the joke. I trust it is a good one as the upvotes are deafening. I could do the clap and sheepish grin if that's socially appreciated, but I forgot that too. Sorry for that.
  • 3 0
 Nope, she's 41,961m beyond that number.
  • 4 1
 @greg390: 420 69 (yawn)
  • 4 3
 @jamborf: Ah, the US cannabis celebration date and a sex pose. Took a long while for me to get that, sorry. Again, I'm not into magic but from a health and safety perspective I'd recommend to finish the first before you engage in the other. The combination sounds painful.
  • 94 1
 A hundred laps in a day, her hands are locked this way. C
  • 58 0
 She only RIDES PARK
  • 31 0
 A likely candidate for a severe case of Lego hands.
  • 62 11
 I know I'll get downvoted, but I don't get it. Was there a time limit since she wasn't trying for the 24 hour record? Could someone do more over the course of a full season and beat this record?

Not knocking the work involved (props to Annie), more than the article is written weird and doesn't really say WHAT the time limit was for that amount of descending.
  • 24 4
 yeah I wondered that too. What is the record without a time constraint?
I guess someone did more than 42000 m of descending in their life.
Some info is missing
  • 22 3
 Yeah, this is pretty poorly written as I cannot tell what the limitations are that make this a true world-record accomplishment.
  • 5 42
flag onawalk (Mar 16, 2023 at 14:28) (Below Threshold)
 Do you really care, like is this tidbit of useless info going into the memory bank to bring up in the pub to impress your friends?
  • 11 0
 @bashhard: Adam Billinghurst did 1 million feet of descending in Whistler in 57 days back in like 2013?
  • 8 0
 Agreed, what actually was the record? The article doesn't say anywhere. I'm sure there are many people that have logged more vert than that over an unconstrained period of time.
Also not knocking her achievement, that's crazy. Just the article is not clear.
  • 14 0
 @onawalk: it’s always nice if an article makes sense - do you not care what you read ?
  • 10 0
 Me too. Found it incomprehensible.
  • 7 22
flag L0rdTom (Mar 16, 2023 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 Is literally everyone just being really sarcastic? Seems pretty obvious it's the vert descended in one "effort".
  • 11 2
 @L0rdTom: define one effort
  • 3 13
flag onawalk (Mar 16, 2023 at 15:11) (Below Threshold)
 @sargey2003: I couldnt care less about it, I skimmed the article, and that was about it.
Girl rides bike, lots, some sort of descending record, cool.
  • 8 17
flag L0rdTom (Mar 16, 2023 at 15:14) (Below Threshold)
 @dick-pound: Usually characterised by no sleep if there is a "base", or just not returning home on multi day rides. Use some common sense?
  • 11 1
 Reading the article and the efforts it is compared to, it seems the limit is 24hrs. But this is not mentioned explicitly. If the limit is indeed 24 hrs she has a chance of doing this again and breaking her own record by about 8k.
  • 26 1
 in the last paragraph it says the 100 laps took 18 hours and 53 minutes - well below the 24 hour time limit so I think the time limit was 24 hours, although the wording earlier makes it kind of confusing
  • 4 12
flag hitmansam (Mar 16, 2023 at 15:27) (Below Threshold)
 The lifts aren't open for 24 hrs you total bores
  • 12 0
 @ak-77: they edited the article. Before, there was no mention of the time it took her to descend 42k m and they stated that Kabbani still has the record for most descending in 24h.
  • 2 0
 @hitmansam: They did run at night at though, which seems to be unusual at North American bike parks:
  • 4 0
 @bashhard: Aha. That explains the confusion.
  • 7 0
Looks like it's been edited where previously it said that she completed the effort in OVER 24h and that Kabbani and Schweika still held the record, it now states that she completed the record in 18h and is in fact now the record holder. Presumably the record is most vert in 24h, which makes sense though still is not explicitly stated.
  • 3 0
 Comment deleted.
  • 4 7
 As stated in the article, it’s the most amount of descending vert in 24hours. “ The previous Guinness World Record holder for descending the most amount of vertical on a bicycle was set by Amir Kabbani and Patrick Schweika of Germany in Schladming, Austria, five years ago. Their record for the most amount of descending vert in 24 hours stood at 40,840.5 m, but Annie recorded 42,030 m in only 18 hours and 53 minutes - well within the 24 hour time limit.”
  • 13 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: The article has been updated since the first comments to avoid confusion, but apparently that's now causing more confusion for the people who didn't see the original article Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @hitmansam: yes, everyone knows they're open 4am - 11pm, so she had almost 7 minutes to spare.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Looking at her IG, it seems like she did this overnight. She seems to have finished a little after sunrise
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: I WISH we had park hours even close to that. These short 6 or so hour days suck Frown
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: I honestly can't tell of the post stating hours of;0 4am - 11pm is sarcasm or not. On one hand, that's seems ridiculously generous/unprofitable. On the other hand: New Zealand ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 32 0
 We need the suspension autopsy. What a cool record to go for.
  • 25 0
 “For sale, 2022 Nomad 27.5. Adult woman owned, suspension serviced every 50 hours. Fresh brake pads.”
  • 21 0
 @sjma: new rear tire with only one park day
  • 25 0
 If we take the world records book out of the picture the guys that are doing 24hr DH races in Semmering in Austria the all time record set by the winner of the Solo men class, he has the most vertical meters done on a bicycle with 57,960m of decending with an eye watering 168 laps with a total distance of 537,6km.
  • 17 0
 I did 136 laps back in 2011 and finished third. Man, those were good times Smile
  • 8 1
 So she broke a record because folk who have done significantly more were not registered to go for that record. The thing with some records is they are impressive but when you know a little more, not so impressive.
  • 6 0
 @betsie: This statement applies to probably a majority of "world records". Still a rad effort
  • 3 0
 ...that´s what i thought - the race course at Semmering is perfect to ride that much, don´t think you can do more vertical meters anywhere else...
  • 18 0
 I am unsure of what record was set.

Most consecutive descending meters?

Most descending over an undisclosed time period? Her Strava doesn't have the ride.

Super impressive, but I bet the clarity would make it even more impressive.
  • 12 0
 Not on Strava did it happen
  • 17 0
 Nicely done. I have an idea how much effort that takes.
Anyone who thinks they could show up and do this hasn’t tried. The preparation required is huge. Hats off to you Annie.
  • 18 1
 Who do I call to get a bike park to run its lift for 24hr for me? I'd love the chance to smash lap after lap for the entire day.
  • 43 4
 Haha you say that now… but after 6-7 hours I’m sure 99.99% of us would have tapped out by that point.
  • 3 0
 @corposello: Mountain creek new jersey is my usual, open 9-6. It's a 3.5hr drive for me so I try to get as many laps in as possible, usually around 25-30 before last chair up comes around... I'm sure in the dark it'd get old but I'd pay more for the lift to be open longer for sure
  • 4 0
 @ihertzler: any idea what the length of a DH lap at mtn creek is? im going to say 1.5 to 2 miles MAX per lap, 25-30 runs is definitely a good day, but no where near that ^^^ amount up there
  • 5 0
 @brianpleva: yeah its about 850ft vertical. I know you'd never get close to 40k meters there. Basically, I just want to ride downhill all day is what I'm saying
  • 2 0
 @brianpleva: yeah it’s only 1,000ft vertical. If the lift wasn’t quick nobody would go there. Lines suck hard there though.
  • 3 0
I agree, prolonged downhilling can be exhausting. Same set of muscles used in a different way. 7 days in Oaxaca shuttling 10-15k vert/day and I was beat by the end of the trip.
  • 3 0
 Money, You can literally get anywhere to do it with enough money. Hell Coast Gravity Park will let you rent out the whole place for you and your buddies to rip trails all day if you want
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: I went every weekend last year and there were basically no lines until the last few
  • 1 0
 @ihertzler: 25-30 on a weekend is a pipe dream.
  • 1 0
 @Solorider13: guess they found the upper limit on pricing. Nice to not wait though.
  • 12 0
 Incredible achievement but by far not the most vertical meters in a bike park in 24hrs.
There is an annual 24h downhill race in Semmering (Austria) called "race the night". The record in solo category is at least 163 runs some years ago.
His means about 60km vertical drop. Normal run number of the winner every year is 150+ (52,5km drop)
But of course nobody ever thought to call the guys from Guinness
  • 13 1
 On a 27.5 wheeled Nomad! God please bring some of the full 27.5 bikes back.
  • 6 0
 don't forget that two Canadians did WAY more than this a few years ago on a very knarly Mt 7.
  • 1 0
 That's a bloody impressive effort, but I think Annie ticked up more vert.
2014 post mentions around 100,000 ft to ~113,400 ft, Annie clocked 137,893 ft
  • 9 3
 Most impressive was an older record set on the Mt 7 psychosis course, vehicle shuttle and hike a bike included, not to mention it rained a bunch
  • 3 1
 "100 laps via the chairlift": Oh, I'll take my ereader and top that easily!
"...which added up to 42,030m (137,894 feet) total descent and 313km (194 miles) distance. She accomplished this feat on her 27.5” Santa Cruz Nomad enduro bike, averaging 9.5 minutes per lap." Never mind...
Big kudos and respect!
  • 8 4
 I love this. What a great achievement. Let those that hath not a good word to say, forever wish to achieve what you have done!
  • 2 3
 The downvotes say you hit a nerve there! Couldn't agree more with how impressive this is, my hands are toast after just 8 hours of bikepark laps!
  • 5 0
 Go get me the plane Winston, we are going bike skydiving. That should do it.
  • 2 0
 Love it, well done. Then someone commented about a race that doesn't go for the Guinness record that smashes this achievement. A world record can be like setting the fastest Strava time down a race track that's much slower than a race time coz nobody else turned Strava on!
  • 2 0
 Colossal feat! Brings back good memories.
At the annual 24h race in Semmering Austria,10 years ago, I did 24km myself in a team of two riders - with zero preparation.
Some well prepared solo racers would tackle nearly 50 vertical kilometers in 24 hours.
Where were you back then, Guiness folks???
  • 6 0
 Legend, well done.
  • 2 0
 If a downhiller leaves the chairlift at 8:35am, and the chairlift is moving at 9.8 mph, and the grade of the course is -13.6, what was the average pressure of the rear tire on riins 80-100?
  • 3 0
 Random question riders. 100 10 minute descents or 50 20 minutes descents?
  • 15 0
 Doesn't matter to me, ill get more dialed in every lap, ill get more confident every lap, ill get faster every lap and ill get more tired every lap. I'm crashing before lap 10 regardless of the length of lap.
  • 24 0
 The UK version is 2000 30s descents.
  • 5 0
 27.5 isn't dead
  • 3 1
 ....Flats 4 Life
  • 1 0
 @threesixtykickflip: NZ on my someday bucket list, are all Kiwis sick as Ben and Annie?! Agree with Matt must be something in the water
  • 6 6
 whopping dooo.....the only thing you need to beat her is a smoother track with enough vertical. if different riders are going to do this on different tracks then whats the point of a world record with no set standards to the feat. think about it. The hour record has specific set of circumstances. In my opinion this record means nothing and will be beaten in short order on a longer and smoother track somewhere.
  • 2 0
 @a-r-c: I don't understand the downvotes. It is true. If all you care about is the record, there are easier courses to take it on. Steep smooth fire roads.
It wouldn't make any sense of course, but have you ever read through the Guinness book? So many records that don't make sense.
This ride does make sense to me, record or not doesn't make it more or less epic and respectable to me.
  • 4 1
 Was this in 24 hours? Or just kind of a ride-till-you-drop sort of thing?
  • 4 5
 Check the third paragraph (of four paragraphs total).

You can also determine this from other information in the article:
100 laps, 9.5 minutes/lap -> 950 minutes -> just shy of 26.5 hours (of lift+ride time)
  • 9 1
 @pmhobson: There's no way 9.5 minutes is lift + ride time unless that chairlift is moving at mach 5.
  • 4 0
 @toast2266: article says the average lap time is 9.5 minutes.

If a lap is only going down, let’s assume for simplicity that the lift takes as long to get up as Anne took to ride down.

So that’s a 2x the reported “lap time”, or 53 hours or chair+ride time.

I’m guessing this took 26-ish hours, not 53.
  • 6 0
 @pmhobson: I really have no idea. Which is why there kinda needs to be a time specified. I mean, I've done 100 laps at my local bike park in an unspecified period of time too.
  • 8 0
 @pmhobson: 950min is 15.8h, how did you come up with 26.5 hours?
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: oh Christ. I fat-fingered the calc off the side the spreadsheet I had open
  • 4 0
 @toast2266: OK, shoddy math aside, 9.5 minutes doesn't seem out of bounds for a full lap (returning to the start point):

(switch the x-axis to time)
  • 2 5
 @pmhobson: It says in the article it took 18 hrs and 53 minutes. Read, don't calculate off wrong assumptions.
  • 6 0
 @ak-77: That's a recent edit to the article
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: Sorry, I wasn't aware of that, the first time I saw the article the time was in there. Never mind.
  • 2 0
 @ak-77: Yeah no sweat. Things move fast around here. My idiocy didn't help clear up any confusion.
  • 1 0
 The last paragraph eludes to it being a 24hr limit, the proof is in the pudding.
  • 3 1
 This is as dumb as Strava ING your ebike rides..
  • 1 0
 Setting a calendar reminder for a year from today to see if her forearm pump is gone
  • 1 1
 Sure not Massif in Quebec a single round trip of the long loop takes the better part of an hour. 100 rounds would be brutal.
  • 1 0
 Insane effort! So flipping cool
  • 5 4
 nice. way cooler than uphill records
  • 2 1
 Only 18 hours? Talk about a quitter.
  • 2 2
 Well done Annie you smashed it!
To all the haters,don’t hate-post your own record or off you shall f*ck.
  • 1 0
 So rad! Congrats!!
  • 1 0
 Wow. Incredible.
  • 8 9
 Makes me wonder what an elite male could do if some random girl I’ve never heard of can that easily break the record.
  • 7 3
 Makes me wonder what a “girl” could have done to you to make you want to minimize strangers’ accomplishments based on their gender.
  • 2 0
 @sfarnum: Have you ever compared times of DH pros between male and female categories? Hell, the only reason there are male and female categories in sports is because there is a difference. In most other walks of life, it's not even legal to discriminate like this. Which country has a male and a female president? Which company a male and a female CEO? But we do have a male and a female World Champion Downhill. That is because there is a difference. The bodies are not the same.

I understand the 'random person I never heard of vs. elite pro' argument. This is not a record frequently attempted by the people we see as the best in this sport. It would be interesting to compare. I would also be very interested to see how Annie would do in a UCI WC race. Is a person who is good at racing fast one time down a course also faster in a longer endurance event?

Regardless of all the above, this is a huge achievement. 42 km vertical in a day is beyond brutal and I have immense respect for anyone that can pull that off.
  • 3 1
 @ak-77: “… this is a huge achievement. 42 km vertical in a day is beyond brutal and I have immense respect for anyone that can pull that off.” is all you needed to say.
  • 3 0
 @sfarnum: That may be your opinion. I felt the rest needed to be said as well.
  • 2 1
 @ak-77: The margin's between men and women seem to eradicate when you start getting into ultra endurance events (with women now holding a lot of the records - look it up!).

Also Amir Kabbani and Patrick Arnold (previous record holders) ain't exactly punters on bikes!
  • 2 1
 @sfarnum: yeah totally, she nearly descended 5 Everests - incredible right! It's tragic that these dudes are unable to see how impressive that is and have their thinking limited to, "but imagine if a bloke did it"!
  • 1 0
 @lucaj: I had never heard of Amir Kabbani or Patrick Schweika (not Arnold!) before either. I looked them up and apparently they were more into DJ than DH. There are a lot of people who are 'not exactly punters on bikes' but still aren't podium contenders at the World Championships. I am a total punter on a bike, but I am curious to see what would happen if Red Bull set up a 24hr event with, say, the top 20 of each gender in the WC Downhill, offering 100k to the winner. As I said before, what Annie did is a huge achievement, for anyone. But slapping on a title of 'world record' invites me to think if there really isn't anyone in the world that could beat this. I think there are people who could, both male and female, but I don't think they are interested in trying because they have their racing careers to think about.

Also, I looked up the 24hr records in running and cycling on Wikipedia in response to your post. 270 km vs 319 for women and men respectively for running. 824 vs 1026 km for cycling. Is that what you mean by 'eradicating margins'? I might be missing something, but going through all the cycling records there are clear differences. e.g. Race across America, there's two days difference between male and female records. The only woman I see that holds an overall record is Amanda Coker for three records (month, year, 100k miles) set during her mind-blowing 100.000 mile ride in 2016-17. All in all I see very little evidence that suggests that men and women would be equally distributed in a top 10 of 24hr downhill distances if it was a hotly contested record among the top athletes in the world.
  • 1 0
 Wow. Absolutely wow.
  • 1 0
 Well done!
  • 4 5
 Lol. Not impressed
Below threshold threads are hidden

Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.060367
Mobile Version of Website